September 29, 2007
Tony Allen will know he's ready for the NBA when he can do something that may come more naturally than anything else for the Celtics guard.
``It will be when I can dunk on somebody,'' said Allen, recovering from the second major knee surgery of his young career. ``I'm doing everything right now. I'm catching and shooting, running up and down, rebounding. I've been scrimmaging against some of the rookies.
``But I don't feel it yet when I first-step someone and get by him. I don't feel like hammering the basketball yet. But the first time I dunk on someone, that's when I know I'm going to be 100 percent.''
All things considered, however, Allen sees himself ahead of schedule. Danny Ainge pointed to the Celtics' Nov. 2 season opener against Washington as a realistic date for Allen's return to availability, and the guard didn't dispute that yesterday.
``It's basically on me, and how I feel,'' he said. ``I think they were amazed when they saw me play pickup ball. They said, `Whoa, he shouldn't be doing that,' so I know that I'm ahead.''
Nor will Allen take kindly to being coddled.
``I'm going to voice my opinion about how I feel,'' he said, breaking one of Bill Belichick's sacred rules. ``But I want to prove that I belong out there, between these lines. I want to prove that everything is fine.''